Family Day at Navigator Square (hero banner)

Islington Irish Month is expected to raise £10,000 for Mayor’s charities

Islington Irish Month, a month-long series of Irish heritage events organised in collaboration with Mayor of Islington Cllr Troy Gallagher and The London Irish Centre, is expected to raise £10,000 for charity when counts are completed.

The charities receiving the donations are forum+, icap and James’ Place. They were chosen by Cllr Gallagher, the first Irish-born Mayor of Islington, to be his mayoral charities this year because of their focus on male suicide and mental health support.

The programme’s events included activities for all age groups and provided opportunities for residents from all backgrounds to explore and enjoy Irish culture whilst celebrating the contribution of Irish people in Islington over the last 100 years.

Highlights of the month included:

  • Family Day in Navigator Square on Sunday 20 March, attended by over 700 people, with musical performances from Irish bands Goats Don’t Shave and Kila.
  • Bodhrán workshops led by musician Ruari Glasheen at five schools for more than 400 local children.
  • A céilí at Islington Assembly Hall on Friday 18 March, which gave 160 attendees a chance to enjoy traditional Irish dancing.
  • Islington Trad Trail – a walk through the borough on Thursday 17 March accompanied by a mixture of classic and contemporary takes on Irish trad music, featuring musicians, poets, and storytellers.
  • A special Highland Radio show on Saturday 19 March, broadcasted live from Islington Town Hall, featuring interviews with Cllr Gallagher, representatives of his charities, as well as other community leaders and people of Irish heritage.
  • A Centenary Gala Ball held at Islington Assembly Hall with music from Irish band The Conquerors. Singer and television presenter, Daniel O’Donnell, also entertained guests with music and a speech, during which he paid tribute to Cllr Gallagher and spoke of the importance of suicide prevention support.
  • Business breakfast at the DoubleTree Hilton on Friday 18 March - a special networking opportunity organised in co-ordination with Donegal County Council, to encourage businesses and organisations in the borough to connect with Irish companies and industries.
  • Irish story time sessions in Islington libraries attended by 70 local children.
  • Heritage walks in Holloway, Stroud Green and Archway, giving 80 people an opportunity to discover Irish history through important locations in the borough.

Cllr Troy Gallagher, Mayor of Islington, said: “I am over the moon at the response from the Islington community. I’m also truly delighted to be able to support these three brilliant charities with the donations kindly given by the wonderful people of Islington. This money will help to ensure that young men in crisis, who may be having suicidal thoughts, will have direct support when they need it most. I am very grateful for the work done by these charities to help people suffering with depression, anxiety or loneliness.

“The contribution of Irish people to life in the borough and in London is massive, both historically and in the present moment. Islington Irish Month gave us all an opportunity to celebrate that and to enjoy the richness of Irish culture, exploring culinary, musical, and social traditions.  

“I’m particularly delighted that Daniel O’Donnell was able to join us in celebrating the contribution of the Irish people in Islington over the years. It was fantastic to have his support in amplifying the vital work being done by my mayoral charities to tackle mental health issues and prevent suicide.

“I will always be immensely proud of being Irish and being from Donegal. It was fantastic to share that heritage with my community in Islington, which has long been known for its dedication to inclusion and diversity.”

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